When’s the best time to travel?

When’s the best time to travel?

So when is the best time to travel? Now, it sounds like a really silly question, but aside from when you’ve got the money in your bank account and you can get the time off work, there are a few other things that I would throw into the pot.

WEATHER … DID SOMEONE SAY WEATHER?

One of them being that I did actually know somebody who was really, really happy that they had got an amazing fare to go to South Africa. The trouble was it was going in July. They thought they were going to go there, bask in the sun, have an amazing time in the sunshine wandering around the vineyards and checking out the V&A Waterfront.

Actually, July is winter time in South Africa. So it was a very, very different experience. It comes under a different hemisphere. You’ve got the Northern Hemisphere, everything north of the Equator – Europe, America, Canada, China to name but a few.

Then you’ve got the Southern Hemisphere, everything south of the Equator. So just a few to throw in to the mix are South Africa, most of South America, and Australia and New Zealand. Now, the reason that this is important is because it’s a switch. It’s the total opposite. For the Northern Hemisphere, summer time would be June, July, August. For the Southern Hemisphere, summer time is December, January, February.

Now, it might well be that it’s not even the country you’re traveling from and going to. It could be that the country that you’re in is so vast. So for the likes of Australia, where you’ve got different states and territories, they have got different climates as well.

You might be basking in sun in Sydney and then you head up to Kakadu and it’s monsoon season. Now, that’s not going to be a real biggie if you’re in Australia and you’re travelling for a while. You can just reroute and go there when it’s a better climate for you. You might love monsoon season for all I know. So then yeah, go for it!

But if you are planning a trip, it’s in a more concise amount of time and you are booking things in; do bear that in mind. Also in Thailand, generally July and August are going to be very wet (officially rainy season is from mid May thru to October). India also experiences monsoons as well say the Caribbean. So just a few things to take into account. There are a couple of websites you can look at. There’s worldatlas.com, which shows you the split of the hemispheres. Another site which is really good is worldweatheronline.com. Pop in the destination that you’re going to and it brings up the weather for all different times of the year.

SALE SALE SALE

Now, the other thing that I would say is that if there is a sale on, it might not necessarily be the best time to travel, but it’s certainly the best time to buy a fare. For me personally, I tend to go with the airline direct. I find I get some great fares there. Register with the airlines to get their newsletters, so you’ll be notified when the sales go on and you can get first dibs.

Also, there are companies like Trailfinders and Flight Centre who offer excellent  competitive fares. The main thing is to shop around to get the best deal.

FOR WANT OF QUOTING MARVIN GAYE … WHAT’S GOING ON?

I would have a look, if you’re in the U.K, at the foreign office website for the country that you are intending to visit. You’ll also get a heads up on any unrest as well. Not that I’m wanting to scare you, but if there are things that are going on that you need to be aware of, they should be highlighted there.

You can also have a look on the tourist board site for the countries that you wish to visit.  Don’t forget also the likes of the Lonely Planet, Foder and Rough Guides, just a few to put out there.

Have a check with them, there might be some big festival or event going on that you’re not aware of and you’ve only got your first few nights booked. I was in Bryon Bay recently and there were a fair few disappointed people. Why? They didn’t realise that there was a big surf festival at the weekend so they were unable to extend their accommodation.

The final place to look, I would say, would be on forums. See what other travellers are saying. The Lonely Planet has Thorn Tree and Trip Advisor is worth a mention well.

So these are my suggestions. What you do when you go into planning mode for your travels? Do comment and let us know!

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